SURVIVING SEASONAL STRESS

It’s that time of year again. Stores have been gearing up since October, with snowmen gleefully sitting along side jack-o-lanterns, and now the rush is in full swing. Even cloistered away in my home office, I can feel the shift.  

No matter which tradition you observe, the holidays provide a time to reconnect and celebrate, and keeping this focus is vital to staying (mostly) stress-free through the holidays. I try to keep this mind whenever I’m bombarded by aisles of tinsel and trapped in lines a mile long while trying to buy my keifer.   

With Thanksgiving just past us, now is the perfect time to think about what you are grateful for. You may even wish to start a journal to take note of those people and events that have made a positive difference in your life. After all, it’s often the little things – a smile from a stranger or a beautiful sunset – that cause us to stop and notice how blessed we truly are. 

Switching your focus outside of yourself can also to wonders to alleviate stress. Random acts of kindness not only bless those you touch, but enhance your own life, as well. Whether you choose to volunteer at a food bank or help an elderly person to decorate their tree, the sense of connection felt at these times reaches far beyond the act itself. 

There are also many simple techniques you can use to take the edge off. Below are just a few to get you started: 

*While giving to others, be sure to pamper yourself a bit, too. Take the time to curl up with a good book or soak in a warm tub.  

*Stay healthy. Between the celebrations eat healthy foods, drink plenty of pure water and exercise. If you start feeling run down, consider adding some supplements to your diet and getting some extra rest. 

*Use relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga and breathing exercises to refocus and regain your balance physically and mentally. Even just taking five minutes to close your eyes and breathe deeply and slowly can do wonders. 

*Don’t get upset over minor issues. If you burn the rolls or run out of wrapping paper, just take a few slow, deep breaths and return your focus to what’s important – connection, sharing and appreciation. Remember, your friends and family are there to spend time with you, not write a review on your homemade cranberry sauce. 
 

Above all relax, laugh and enjoy!

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